Supervisor David Chiu, a key player in the city’s sustainable transportation movement who gets around on his electric bicycle, was reelected president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors this afternoon on an 8-3 vote. The 40-year-old District 3 supervisor called on his colleagues to “move beyond the past oppositional politics of personality” and build consensus to tackle some of the city’s most pressing problems.
“None of us were voted into office to take positions. We were voted into office to get things done. We were voted into office to create jobs, to make sure Muni runs on time, to make sure our streets are safe and clean and to make sure…that the least fortunate among us is taken care of,” said Chiu, referring to past positions supervisors have taken against the Mayor or other supervisors.
The vote to reelect Chiu came after four new members elected to the board — Jane Kim, Malia Cohen, Scott Wiener and Mark Farrell — were sworn into office along with Supervisor Carmen Chu, who ran unopposed for her District 4 seat.
In the first round of voting for president, Chiu, who was nominated by Kim, and Supervisor Sean Elsbernd (nominated by Chu) both got four votes each with Supervisor John Avalos (nominated by Supervisor David Campos) garnering three. All three supervisors were allowed to vote for themselves.
After the initial vote, Elsbernd stood up and noted how multiple rounds of voting can result in long-term elements of discord and distrust, and decided to withdraw his name “in the spirit of moving this meeting forward.” On the second round, Chiu’s nomination got the support of every new member, along with Supervisors Eric Mar, Chu and Elsbernd. Avalos was supported by Campos and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.
Chiu is widely rumored to be exploring a run for mayor. Just yesterday, it was publicly unclear whether he had enough votes to remain board president. Earlier this week, he was blasted by now former Supervisor Chris Daly, who pledged to “politically haunt” the former prosecutor and civil rights attorney after he announced his support of City Administrator Ed Lee for interim mayor with the eventual backing of six other supervisors.